Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals brought something Boston Celtics fans did not expect. Isaiah Thomas was seemingly pushed to his breaking point as he did not return in the second half of the game after a re-aggravation of a right femoral-acetabular impingement with labral tear in his hip. Thomas left the game with 2 Points, 6 Assists, and 4 Rebounds on 0/6 shooting from the field in a blowout 130-86 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Feeling embarrassed after the game Celtics fans got some news they certainly weren’t expecting, with that being Isaiah Thomas will miss the remainder of the playoffs. The injury did not originally occur from the game 2 performance, as it was a re-aggravation of a hip injury that occurred on March 15 in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. After everything Thomas has gone through since the playoffs began from his sister’s tragic passing to his dental surgery it appears that this hip injury was the final straw.
Many reached out to thank Thomas for his one of a kind season, with fans and media recognizing he was the catalyst that drove the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals. The night before that harrowing loss to Cleveland, Thomas was named to the All-NBA Second Team. Recognition of his season from the media was something Celtics fans had been looking for all season long.
Thomas has been recognized by many as having one of the biggest hearts in the league, coincidentally in one of the smallest bodies. A player known for never quitting has proved time and time again that he has fully dedicated himself to basketball, thriving on the court during some extremely tough circumstances this season. With the Celtics still in the playoffs playing the dominant Cavaliers someone had to step up to fill that void without Thomas in the lineup.
As expected and confirmed just before game 3 on Monday, Marcus Smart would start for the injured Isaiah Thomas. Smart is another Celtics player with a lot of heart but many are doubtful of his scoring capability as he is known as a defensive asset. Despite the doubt, Smart delivered offensively with his own Isaiah Thomas-like performance shooting 7/10 from behind the arc finishing with 27 Points, 7 Assists, and 5 Rebounds.
Thomas may have had a disheartening end to his season but Celtics fans should not hang their head’s as the future is bright. The current Celtics landscape projects prized Markelle Fultz getting drafted playing alongside Isaiah Thomas next season with the potential to sign another big-name free agent. As there is a forecast for an exciting future, fans can only hope more players step up to keep the series competitive against the Cavaliers.